The Top 4 Home Improvements With The Biggest Returns


These Improvements Will Net You More Than You Think

So, you’re looking to make improvements on your property. You probably have several projects in mind as well as a budget to get it all done. You think you are ready to head over to the closest hardware store and start buying the tools you need to make your home dreams a reality. What you might not realize is that many common home improvements, like renovating a kitchen or a shower, do not give the kind of returns you’ll need to recoup the loss in a sale. So, unless you’re willing to forfeit good returns for the home of your dreams, you might have to reconsider what you’ll be renovating. So, if not the kitchen or the bathroom, what parts of the home should you improve? Here are the top four home improvements with the biggest returns in the current market. SEE ALSO: Home Improvement Loans: The Need-To-Know Options

1. Maintenance Remodels

It should go without saying that replacing things that need to be fixed—like broken windows, faulty water heaters, or leaking pipes—will bring the highest returns. When it comes right down to it, home buyers might love your remodeled $40,000 kitchen, but if they detect the scent of mold in your basement from a busted pipe, they’ll be gone before you can even attempt to reassure them. Still, many people undergo remodels that will have smaller returns instead of fixing what needs to be fixed because of a misguided belief that these remodels will yield bigger returns. Don’t let your money fall into a bottomless pit. Start off with fixing the things that need to be fixed before moving on to remodeling for luxury.

2. Replacing The Front Door

First impressions are incredibly important, especially when it comes to selling a home. The first thing a buyer will see when they pull up to the curb is the front face, including the front door. If your front door looks like something straight out of That 70’s Show, then that will definitely impact what the buyer thinks. That’s probably why replacing a front door has the biggest return on investment (ROI) for home improvements, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2014. Luckily, updating a front door is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing an entry door costs around $1,100, and has a 96.6 percent return. If you’d prefer not to pay this much on a new front door, painting can yield a similar return and costs significantly less.

3. Adding A Deck

Further emphasizing the importance of curb appeal, the second biggest ROI for homes is adding on a deck. Front porches make the home feel more welcoming and add the illusion of more space. According to Remodeling Magazine, the ROI of a wooden deck addition is about 87.4 percent. However, before you start planning out your deck, make sure that your home has enough room to comfortably fit such a large item. You’ll want to leave some greenery around wherever you decide to place the deck).

4. Replacing Siding

In terms of larger projects, replacing old siding with newer fiber-cement siding also has a good return. On average, the return is about 87 percent of the cost, which might seem a little less than you would want, but replacing siding helps in multiple ways. On average, this project costs about $13,300, but it can help protect your home from harmful weathering that will bring down the home’s value even more. So, in this way, replacing siding does double duty in the remodeling process. SEE ALSO: Renovation Financing: Home Equity Loan Vs. 401(k)

Keep It Practical

In the end, the one thing that matters for a home remodel is keeping it practical. This includes keeping things simple—zebra print walls aren’t appreciated by a majority of the population—and going with the original themes of the home. If you own a rustic cabin-style home, for example, you don’t want to decorate the interior like it’s a sail boat. Draw inspiration from the elements you love about your home and you can’t go wrong. Another element of keeping things practical is keeping the luxury modest. A decent sized tub for two in the master bathroom is a good idea, but digging a giant ditch in the backyard for a whole new swimming pool might not be. Home buyers want homes that are easy to maintain, so anything that eats up electricity bills and cost a lot of time to keep in optimum condition is not advisable. Remodeling within your means is the name of the game. Do that, and you might drastically increase your home’s value.  
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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